Product: White Willow Bark
Latin Name: Salix alba
Plant Family: Salicaceae
Other Names: European Willow, Catkins, Catkin Tree, Pussy Willow, Osier, Saille, Salicyn Willow, Saugh Tree, Tree of Enchantment, With, Withy, Écorce de Saule, Écorce de Saule Blanc, Saule Blanc, Fieberweidenrinde & Weidenrinde.
Description: The white willow is a deciduous tree, native to Europe and also found growing in Asia and North Africa that reaches a height of 10–30 metres. The leaves are alternate and elliptically lanceolate in shape with finely serrated edges. Pale green in colour on the upper surface and silvery green on the underside due to a covering of fine, downy white hairs, and 5–10cm in length. The flowers are produced in drooping catkins male and female flowers appear of separate trees; the male catkins are 4–5cm in length and the female catkins 3–4cm long at pollination and greeny-yellow in colour.
Brief History: Around 400 B.C. Hippocrates the Greek physician was prescribing the use of white willow bark to reduce pain and fever, but by the medieval era willow bark had fallen out of popular use. Then in 1763 the Reverend Edmund Stone, rediscovered how effective willow bark was in reducing fevers. Research was conducted on the herb in Europe and in 1828 a French pharmacist Henri Leroux and an Italian chemist Raffaele Piria successfully isolated salicin from the bark, a pain relieving and fever reducing naturally occurring chemical which was eventually synthesised and became the drug we know as aspirin today.
SUGGESTED USEThe bark is used in the leathery industry for tanning. It can also be used to make a tea or tisane, although the flavour can be rather bitter. A decoction of the bark can be used to make a hair rinse for dandruff. The bark can be infused in sweet almond oil and alongside other herbs and essential oils be used as a muscle relaxing liniment perfect for easing post gardening aches and pains. No other non-medicinal uses are known for the bark.
Shelf life of two years provided that goods are stored in an airtight container in ambient conditions.
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